Location: Cullowhee, North Carolina
Federal Circuit: 4th Circuit
Western Carolina University has been given the speech code rating Yellow. Yellow light colleges and universities are those institutions with at least one ambiguous policy that too easily encourages administrative abuse and arbitrary application. Read more here.
January 10, 2006
FIRE teamed up with the John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy to release the Report on the State of the First Amendment in the University of North Carolina System. The Report notes that UNC System’s many speech codes and illiberal restrictions on religious groups would likely not survive a legal challenge. It also reveals that “13 out of the 16 schools in the UNC System have at least one policy that both clearly and substantially restricts freedom of speech.”» Read More
Speech Code Category: Internet Usage Policies, StatementHarassment of other users may be the sending of unwanted messages or files. Violations include, but are not limited to:
* interfering with the legitimate work of another user, to include sending of chain mail or other non-university related messages;
* the sending of abusive or obscene messages via computers;
* the use of computer resources to engage in abuse of computer personnel or other users.
Speech Code Category: Protest and Demonstration Policies, StatementNo outdoor assembly may be conducted within 200 feet of a childcare playground or facility during operating hours, within 50 feet of any building, or within 50 feet of any other individual’s or group’s outdoor assembly. The University may place barriers or other boundary indicators that must be respected during an outdoor assembly.
Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies, Statement"Sexual Harassment" is defined as unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that is so
severe, persistent, or pervasive that it negatively affects the victim's activities or creates
an intimidating, threatening or abusive educational or employment
Speech Code Category: Protest and Demonstration Policies, StatementSubject to Additional Guidelines described below, Recognized Student Groups and University Groups may conduct Assemblies or Public Addresses without prior approval at any exterior campus location. The use of the Picnic Grounds, however, requires the submission of a reservation form to the Director of the University Center at least forty-eight (48) hours in advance of the Assembly. Groups comprised of eight (8) or more persons should notify the Director of University Police and Parking Services and the Associate Vice Chancellor for Facilities at least forty-eight (48) hours in advance of the Assembly/Public Address so that safety measures may be provided if necessary.
Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies, StatementActions deemed to violate this Policy include, without limitation, the following examples: ... To continue verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when an employee or student has indicated, by word or action, that such conduct is unwanted.
Speech Code Category: Bullying Policies, StatementThe term "Bullying" means any pattern of written, electronic, or verbal communication, behavior,
gesture, or any physical act(s) that is threatening or intimidating at any University sponsored function
or uses any University network which (i) places a person in actual and reasonable fear of harm to
his/her person or damage to his/her property, or (ii) creates a hostile environment by substantially
interfering with or impairing a student's educational performance, opportunities or benefits, or a
University student employee's ability to perform the essential functions of his/her job.
Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies, StatementThe term "unlawful harassment" means unwelcome or unsolicited speech or conduct
based upon race, color, creed, religion, gender, age, national origin, disability, military
veteran status, political affiliation or sexual orientation that creates a hostile environment
for students, or denies or limits a student's ability to participate in or to receive benefits,
services, or opportunities in the University's programs, or interferes with an employee's
work performance. ...
UNC Board of Governors Policy Manual 700.4.2 states and requires:
No student shall threaten, coerce, harass or intimidate another person or identifiable
group of persons, in a manner that is unlawful or in violation of a constitutionally valid
University policy, while on University premises or at University-sponsored activities based
upon the person’s race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, creed, disability, or veteran status. No student shall engage in unlawful
harassment leading to a hostile environment. Unlawful harassment includes conduct that
creates a hostile environment by meeting the following criteria: It is:
a. Directed toward a particular person or persons;
b. Based upon the person’s race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual
orientation, gender-identify, creed, disability, or veteran status;
d. Severe or pervasive;
e. Objectively offensive; and
f. So unreasonably interferes with the target person’s employment, academic
pursuits, or participation in University-sponsored activities as to effectively deny
equal access to the University’s resources and opportunities.
January 26, 2011
On Monday, Western Carolina University (WCU) commenced a semester-long “Celebration of the First Amendment” with a presentation by Frank LoMonte, executive director of the Student Press Law Center. The presentation was sponsored by WCU’s campus newspaper, The Western Carolinian, and funded by a 2010-11 Louis Ingelhard First Amendment Award Grant from the College Media Association. WCU is one of the 27 percent of schools we reviewed in our 2011 speech code report that have yellow-light ratings, which means that it has policies that could too easily be used to ban or excessively regulate protected speech. (More information about WCU’s speech […]» Read More